BrainDead: Season 1, Ep 11 – Red’s Queen & the CIA (Review)

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Gustav makes it back this week, after his conspicuous absence, and things go marching forward in BrainDead land. This penultimate episode (the last two remaining segments are set to run consecutively on September 11 for a season finale) amps things up nicely. Red’s queen is attacked and the CIA help to trap Luke.

“Six Points on the New Congressional Budget: The False Dichotomy of Austerity vs. Expansionary Policies”  opens with the recap song guy; Jonathan Coulton singing about Gunsmoke instead of BrainDead. It is all about the stress. Germaine’s baby is not mentioned in this episode as this week is  all about the bugs.

Gareth inadvertently spots Red’s queen laying eggs as the senator coos to his parasite. He is shaken and goes to see Laurel.  She takes him to see Wu, Triplett and Daudier. Now that they have found the queen, they hope to destroy it and its “hive.” Ritter is not altogether sure about any of this.

Red pushes for a budget vote. The new budget, drafted by his people and Ella’s has the internment camps buried within the proposal. The senator pushes for a 48 hour turn around. Luke smells a rat and calls everyone together to find what Red has hidden in the budget.

Meanwhile, CIA agents meet with Luke to vet him for the post of new CIA director.  The men question staff, Laurel, his ex lovers and express concern. Along the way they speak with FBI Agent Onofrio (Charlie Semine) who tells them about the bugs.

Red tries to bribe Laurel into leaving Capital Hill to make her Malaysian music documentary and Triplett reveals a way to remove the queen bug from inside Red’s head.  The bait is monkey brains and it works.

As the senator’s queen leaves her host to eat the brains, Laurel, Gustav and Rochelle all attack Red and try to kill the queen.  (This is one of the funniest scenes in the series.  Laurel and Rochelle roll up magazines to bash the alien insect to death.) Red is upset that his queen is being threatened.

The alien bug escapes and the new intern comes in. Red is released and he tell his new assistant to call the police.  The trio have to leave empty handed, so to speak.

Luke passes the vetting process and meets the man with the secrets at the CIA. He is told that the agency knows about the alien bugs and were about to arrest Red and the “other ringleaders” when Laurel and her friends attacked Senator Wheatus.

Healy falls into the trap set by Red and agrees to “back off.”  The senator comes out to speak with the “Director’s Director” of the CIA.  The man tells Red he believes that Luke bought it.

In BrainDead this week it appears that the alien bugs have evolved or,  at the very least, learned more about their human hosts.  While Laurel and her friends are learning how to bring the parasites out of hiding, the bugs themselves are getting better at manipulating their hosts and potential hosts.

Gareth may be shaken to the core by what he saw in Red’s office, but he is fully “Team Laurel” now.  Of course he was headed out the door even before spotting the queen laying eggs. At the start of the episode he was  drafting his letter of resignation.

Another issue brought up, ever so fleetingly, was the subject of those cherry blossoms. As the new intern Gary (Spencer House) points out to Red, the season is almost over. The flowers are dying out.  Will the bugs be able to “switch hit” from one blossom to another?

So far, these invading little parasites have proven to be quire resourceful.  As Team Laurel discover something to use against the alien infestation, the creatures change gears and directions.  It is going to be interesting to see how  this season ends.

Gareth’s loss of faith was amusing and a little touching.  He reverts to a more submissive role. The scene where Laurel comes to comfort him and he says, “We can have sex if you want,” takes him out of the stereotypical male role and it is endearing.

Luke has not realized that the entire CIA vetting process was a diversionary tactic. He is so focussed on finding what Red has hidden in his budget that the timing of the thing did not strike him as being odd.

Healy’s own ambitions also blinded him to the dubious nature of this offered position.

It should be noted, that while the queen was not terminated with extreme prejudice by a rolled up magazine, it was injured.  As Red moves up to speak with his CIA shill, he is limping…

BrainDead will air its season one finale next week, September 11, on CBS.  Tune in and see how this one ends as the network may not bring it back.


Zach Grenier  –  Dean Healey 

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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"I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical."

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